Nightly News   |  October 02, 2013

Reckless motorcycle groups a growing concern

State troopers say they’re wary of certain motorcyclists that ride together in groups, known to endanger themselves and others. NBC’s Stephanie Gosk reports

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> it is a scary and grisly piece of video. if you have been driving a car and found yourself in a swarm of oncoming motorcycles it may look familiar. what happened in new york this weekend took an ugly and violent turn. as nbc's stephanie gosk reports,peated all across this country.

>> reporter: as motorcycles chase a family with a small child up manhattan's west side , 911 calls flooded in to report the terrifying scene. before police could reach the black suv the riders smashed the business executive's windows, pulled him from the car and beat him, his wife and child were unhurt.

>> the defendant's license to drive is suspended.

>> reporter: one of the alleged motorcyclists, christopher cruz, was arraigned in court charged with reckless driving and unlawful imprisonment. cruz and the other motorcyclists chased the suv after his bike was bumped when he stopped short in front of the vehicle.

>> he had absolutely nothing to do t with the beating that occurred at 174th street .

>> reporter: the family of another rider severely injured and possibly paralyzed when he was run over by the suv is defending the group.

>> it's not a gang. they don't wear the same clothes. they're just a family.

>> reporter: law enforcement officials say the groups are growing in number and aren't easy to stop. videos are posted online like trophies. in dallas, riders taunt police in pursuit. in san francisco , motorcyclists break through a police blockade. in st. louis, riders take over the highway for high speed wheelies.

>> you can't chase them. they're crazy. they endanger themselves and others. there have been several incidents where several of them have been injured.

>> several of the groups go out just to cause havoc.

>> reporter: they brace for trouble every weekend when the trouble is nice. how powerful are they as a group?

>> they are very powerful. depending on how many there are, their motorcycles can hit speeds of 150 plus.

>> reporter: 150? in new york city , more arrests are likely for a confrontation so frightening it's shining a light on a growing nationwide problem. stephanie gosk, nbc news, new york.